Old Chickens: Giving Them a Comfortable Last Days

  1. chicken4prez
    So as many of you have experienced, old chickens. Just like us they get old and die. But it is also important to make them comfortable for the last days. This will also help with sick hens too.

    Some people like to take them out of their suffering and use the axe and we have had to use it once, and I agree, it is really sad but they can't suffer in pain till they die. If it is necessary you can use the axe but I like to take it in a new level.

    Here are some things that I do for my old hens and roos:

    Bedding and a home
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    Bedding and a good home is very important for your old chicken. You want them to be safe from predators and being bullied by other young hens.

    • Sometimes it is nice to put them in a cage with wood chips or hay or whatever you use for bedding and this is important to do if your chicken is sick. You want to separate the sick chicken so the others don't get sick. For my old hens I like to keep them with their friends so they can have some company.
    • If you decide to leave them with their friends you have to make sure that they don't get pecked and bullied. This is very important because old chickens can't defend themselves against they younger, stronger hens. If they are too weak I would put them in a cage. If you don't have a cage a metal pet carrier will do. We have a metal dog carrier that we use.
    • I have heard of leaves being used as bedding too. The only problem with leaves is that they are usually damp and carry lots of bugs. I would imagine that the leaves would get moldy too. We use wood-chips or wood-shavings for our bedding. We use hay once in a while.
    • Another thing what to do if you want the old chicken to be with his/her friends is make a separate enclosure inside or outside the coop. You can use chicken-wire or metal fence material or even rope will do.

    Food
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    Healthy food is also very important. You want it to be nutritious and also yummy.

    Yogurt is a very good choice for a old or sick hen. It provides nutrition and is very yummy for your chicken. Vanilla is probably the best choice but blackberry and strawberry and other fruits are a good choice. Just remember to not give them chocolate or caramel or anything desserty yogurt. It is bad for chickens.
    • Veggies are another good and healthy choice and chickens love them. Remember to not give them onions though.
    • Fruit is a yummy choice for chickens and it is also very healthy too. Watermelon, apples, pears and more are very delicious. Some fruits like bananas and oranges can be dangerous for chickens (Note: Banana PEELS and Orange PEELS are not good for chickens. The fruit itself is fine. [​IMG]) Here is an article for tips and what's healthy for chickens:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chicken-treat-chart-the-best-treats-for-backyard-chickens
    • Your every-day food works well too.
    • Raw or cooked eggs are yummy and healthy for your chickens. Old, sick or normal.

    Saying good-bye
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    Yes, saying good-bye is very hard but it is something you have to accept. Like us, chickens can't live forever. Be happy that you gave them a good and happy life and that they are in a better place now.

    • So like I said you have to prepare yourself for death. Yes, you will be sad and so am I when my hens die but you have to accept that their life is over and they are happy and free now.
    • Also remember that you have a life to still carry on and your other chickens are waiting for you to take care of them. They rely on you and they love you.
    • When chickens die you can get more and if you get more you can even name one of them after the late chicken. I have done this so many times and it really helps.


    I hope you enjoyed this article and I hoped this helped!

    -Lily

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    About Author

    chicken4prez
    I'm a Christian homeschooled teenager who lives in Canada with 40 amazing chickens! I also have 3 cats, 4 budgies, and 1 fish. I have a wonderful life!

Comments

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  1. chicken4prez
    @Whittni yes that is very true.
    @Honomi I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm glad my article helped.
  2. Honomi
    Heartfelt article and good tips, thank you. It's hard to get over it as my very first two chickens past away last August both in old age so your article helps me going for the future. I didn't have courage to cull them but they seemed happy to the end. R.I.P. Tikka and Masala.
  3. SunflowerTheBun
    Yes I liked this article!
  4. Whittni
    You've got to watch the fruity yogurts though, some will have too much added sugar.
  5. RodNTN
    What a great article Lily, so true! <3
  6. 1cutechick
    What a wonderful article. Thank you for writing it.
  7. BuffOrps416
    That was very sweet; thank you for writing it. I lost one to a hawk on Sunday and your Saying Goodbye section is very helpful and very true.
  8. twinsmom6
    good tips thank you
  9. chicken4prez
    @currycat I so know how you feel.
  10. BossyBantam
    I find this article very sweet. I love old chickens, right now I have an 8(almost) year old ameraucana.
  11. currycat
    We use a lrg. wire dog cage also. Once the younger hens or roo realize ones sick they make it's life hell. We had a roo on his last leg so to speak, was having trouble getting around, the last wk. or two my husband would carry him out into the sun every day for awhile. It's sad when you don't have so many and they all have names and you know all their personalities.
  12. Nardo
    Sadder, I think, for the kids and I don't look forward to that. Good article
  13. BuffOrpington88
    Awesome article!
  14. Whittni
    I've always found it cute to imagine chickens popping their heads out from a hole in the cloud entrance to heavy like "do you have treats?"
  15. Cluckington101
    Very helpful indeed
  16. austrolover1
    Very helpful!
  17. Mountain Peeps
    Great article!!!
  18. chicken4prez
    Feel free to post comments!

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